Cockroaches appearing in the refrigerator motor has been a nightmare for many people, as these pests can be extremely persistent and hard to get rid of once and for all.
If you’re wondering how a roach ends up in your fridge and survives the freezing temperature, you should know that the roach infestation usually starts in the refrigerator motor, which is an extremely warm, highly accessible spot for them.
Luckily, there are numerous methods to get cockroaches out of the refrigerator motor and keep them away from your food!
Why do roaches appear in the refrigerator motor?
Before we can even begin to discuss different methods of roach control and different types of roach killer products that you can use in your refrigerator, it is important to touch upon the root causes of this issue.
Not only will this give you a better understanding of the overall issue, but it will also help you prevent a roach infestation in your fridge.
1. Cleanliness issues
Do you tend to leave dirty dishes in the sink and not tend to them in a timely manner? You should know that the majority of cockroach species, including American roaches, thrive in food leftovers and dirt.
If you also have the habit of not taking the trash out right away, or not cleaning your fridge regularly, these conditions represent a perfect scenario for a roach infestation.
Cockroaches also tend to appear in dirty kitchen cabinets, as well as any appliance that isn’t cleaned regularly.
Once the infestation starts, the roaches will find their way into moist, dark, warm, snuggly places, such as the refrigerator motor, which is extremely easy to access.
2. Not keeping food in containers
Aside from keeping the kitchen area as clean as possible and dealing with garbage and food remains in a timely manner, it is also important to store your food properly.
Storing your food directly in the fridge could attract German cockroaches and other cockroach types since they’re attracted to the scent.
It is also important to mention that storing your food in containers with lids is important for hygiene, as well as your overall safety, as it prevents food poisoning.
3. Gaps and lose components
As we’ve already mentioned, cockroaches will thrive in dark, warm places, which is precisely why they appear in the refrigerator motor first.
However, one of the main concerns is the cockroaches reaching the inside of the refrigerator and your food.
In order to keep the pest away from your food (and not just roaches, but all kinds of bugs), it is necessary to fix any gaps, cracks, and loose components in your fridge that could be the entrance for these unwanted creatures.
4. Excessive moisture in the kitchen
If you notice cockroaches appearing not only in your fridge motor but in the kitchen cabinet and other areas and appliances in your kitchen, it could be that there is a leak.
Since oriental roaches gravitate towards moist spots, the infestation could start beneath your sink or any other area where the leak occurs.
Keep an eye out for leaky pipes beneath the sink, or a leaky faucet that could be dripping and creating this moist environment for the cockroaches to proliferate.
5. Damp basements
Obviously, the infestation doesn’t necessarily have to start in your kitchen. It is possible for these pests to crawl their way into the kitchen and the refrigerator motor from other areas of your home.
We recommend following their trail and inspecting every single room in your house, especially the basement since it tends to be the most humid, moist area.
It is necessary to deal with the infestation at its very root, especially if cockroaches lay their eggs in a certain area.
How to get roaches out of the refrigerator motor
While there are certain factors about pest infestation you cannot completely control, there are many ways to get rid of cockroaches that appear in your refrigerator motor.
In this guide, we will focus on the most effective, permanent, yet safe methods that should work with a German cockroach infestation, as well as brown-banded cockroach and American roach.
1. Keep the kitchen area clean
The first and most important piece of advice we can give you when dealing with cockroaches in your fridge, as well as any other area of your kitchen, is to keep your kitchen as clean as possible.
This entails vacuuming and mopping the kitchen floors regularly, keeping the kitchen cabinets and countertops neat and free of any food crumbs and particles, and cleaning the inside of the refrigerator monthly (if not bi-weekly), but also cleaning behind and below the fridge as often as you can.
Remember to dispose of any food that has gone bad or expired, as these food items will not only attract cockroaches but also potentially affect your health.
The minute you notice a roach infestation, it is recommended to scrub the entire fridge using a strong commercial cleaner and get to every single area of the fridge (both internal and external).
You want to make sure that both the fridge, as well as the area around it, are disinfected, vacuumed, and free of any food particles, debris, and roach droppings.
It is crucial to wash the dirty dishes as soon as possible and throw away any food remains instead of letting them linger in your sink, which could attract pests.
Remember to take out the trash every single day, and also check the area below the sink for any leaks, as both the food remains and excess moisture will attract cockroaches like a magnet.
2. Keep the food in containers
In case you’re not keeping any of the foods in sealed containers, it is now time to organize and store your food this way to avoid not only roach infestation but food poisoning, as well.
It is necessary to store your food properly to keep the pests away and ensure that it is not compromising your health. Also, keeping your fridge organized will make it easier for you to plan your meals, and you’ll end up wasting less food, which is always a plus!
3. Use a sugar and Borax mixture
This mixture includes two very important elements: sugar, which acts as bait since cockroaches are attracted to sugar, and Borax, which is essentially a highly effective roach killer.
Combine sugar and Borax (or boric acid) in a bowl, creating a cohesive mixture, and then place the bowl in the area where you’ve noticed the cockroaches.
The cockroaches should feed on the poisonous mixture and die instantly. Check the bowl after a few days and clean the area of dead roaches.
4. Use organic roach repellents
Some of the safest methods to use against cockroaches in your households are organic repellents, including neem, peppermint oil, crushed cucumber, and bay leaves.
These organic repellents are particularly suitable for the inside of the fridge, as they will not affect your food and potentially lead to food poisoning.
However, make sure that your food is stored in sealed containers before you use any of these repellents, especially peppermint oil, which has a very strong scent.
5. Use insecticidal dust
Insecticidal dust is a highly efficient, strong roach killer that is essentially a chemical, so it can only be used in the area around the fridge, never inside the fridge or in close contact with your food!
Another advantage of this product is that it is very easy to spread around the affected area, even in those nooks and crevices that are hard to reach.
Apply the insecticidal dust all over the area, including behind and below the fridge where the roaches may be hiding. Repeat the process every single day, and the roaches should be gone within two weeks.
6. Use cockroach baits
Cockroach baits are products specifically made to attract and then poison the roaches and soon kill the entire population in the affected area of your home.
Just like the sugar and Borax mixture we mentioned, they include a sweet component that will attract the roaches, but they also contain a deadly dose of poison.
The roaches will not die instantly, but they will go back to their population and die after a certain period of time. The other roaches will then feed on the dead ones, ingesting the poison themselves.
The biggest advantage of these baits is that they can be placed directly inside the refrigerator motor, but also all around the kitchen. You want to position them strategically, making sure to cover the all spots where they could enter the fridge.
7. Close any gaps in/around the fridge
Even the smallest crack or gap in your fridge or in your kitchen could be the perfect entrance for a cockroach infestation.
Any cracks and gaps measuring more than ⅛ inches should be closed inside your fridge, as well as the nearby walls and electrical outlets near the fridge.